Music Reviews



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Artist: The Home of Easy Credit (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Northern Spy (@)
Rated: *****
First of all, I have to say that the cover art on this album is awesome. I love that it hails back to the space age bachelor pad music of the 60s while then hitting you over the head with their music. This may be The Home of Easy Credit, but it most certainly is not the home of easy listening. It's hard to believe that this is all created by a duo, but everything is the work of husband and wife team Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen (alto saxophone, flute, vocals, and electronics) Tom Blancarte (upright bass) with no overdubs. The label describes the album thus: 'Queens-based The Home of Easy Credit challenges the boundaries of free-improvised music, jazz, folk, and pop music with an iconoclastic approach that defies all those who seek to classify music by genre. . . . Taking their name from a department store sign in a dilapidated section of downtown Houston, Texas which they photographed while on tour there, the duo seeks to hold up a mirror to contemporary musical tastes to create a dark, beautiful and thrilling sound world that reflects upon the decline of contemporary civilization.' You can see this in their song titles (I'm particularly fond of 'Only 827 Miles to Wall Drug ' with FREE ICE WATER!'). All I have to say is that this is incredibly good. The album wanders its way through improvisation and seeming randomness while remaining somehow together. For example, 'Arches of Gold' keeps building on itself until it seems that the weight of the aggregated sound will collapse on itself, as it coalesces into a nice droney mess. 'The Feast of the Meal Replacement Bars' and 'Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation' feature interesting chanting and processed voices that work well within the compositions. Other tracks, such as 'The Dream of the Pursuit of Happiness' are more subdued. What makes it particularly effective is the way it careens between freak out Sun Ra and Seven That Spells craziness and peaceful jazz improv. Quite enjoyable and highly recommended. This album weighs in at around 64 minutes.
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Artist: Vacant Shores (@)
Title: Summer Ghost
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Number Transmission (@)
Rated: *****
I like 3' CDs. They're a good way to get a taste of an artist you haven't heard of before. As usual, this was one I had not heard of before. According to the press release that came with this, Vacant Shores hail from Bristol UK and use a mix of old analogue hardware and synths 'to create a lush, reverb-soaked electronica with emotive vocals.' Overall this isn't too bad, but it doesn't push the envelope much. When the label had the tags 'chopped and screwed' and IDM, I expected something along the lines of Autechre. However, another tag, 'dream electronica' comes closer. The vocals were interesting, and not as processed as one might expect on such a release, which was a welcome change. Overall, we could file this as 4 tracks of nice electronica. The album weighs in at around 15 minutes and is limited to 100 copies, so if this sounds good, you should go for it.
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anymore
Artist: Sabled Sun (@)
Title: 2145
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Cryo Chamber
Rated: *****
Cryo Chamber release this new album from Simon Heath just a few months from his return as Atrium Carceri. This new alias deals with terriories close to the ones covered by Atrium Carceri with perhaps even better production but less inspiration.
"Intro" opens this release with a cinematic soundscape when "this is where the world ends" develops in the usual dark ambient territories with an impressive cure for details. "Abandoned" is instead based of a synth line and sparse noises. "Retina" use a catchy beat as the infrastructure of the various samples used. "Singularity" is a noisier track that acts as a bridge to "the hideout" that return to the soundscapes for which the author is well known. "Signals" marks the movement into almost minimal territories while "silo" is an exercise of samples organization. "Date expired", as "shattered", is reminiscent of some sci-fi sound tracks while "the facility", as "the ancient", is a sort of minimal without beats. "A new sun" use some voices to expand the colors of the sound palette. "Acid Rain" is a quiet interlude to "Transmission/outro" that ends this release with a form of unresolved tension.
This album is as of average quality in songwriting as is absolutely well produced. Only for fans.
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anymore
Artist: Aniaetleprogrammeur
Title: The Friendly Expectations Of The Stars
Format: CD
Label: Pale Music
Rated: *****
After listening to the second album by Aniaetleprogrammeur, the first word that is coming to my mind is: chaos. A reported by their bio, they are Berlin-based but originally formed in Paris in 2005. The band is composed of Hanrigabriel (direction/guitars/vox/synths) Tata Christiane (synths/machines), and Valquire Veljkovic (lights/synths/bass). The trio is a multidisciplinary art collective whose activities extend to fashion design (with the brand Tata Christiane), video, photography and graphic design. "The Friendly Expectations Of The Stars" contains twelve new tracks that mix electro, industrial intuitions, psychedelic atmospheres and noisy wall of sounds. The concept behind the album resides behind what the stars are waiting for the beginning of 2013 as some say there will be the apocalypse. Tracks like "Moldy" or "Time Travel" could recall a bit KMFDM thanks to razor cut guitar riffs but "Out Of You" or the following "Low Passion" sound like an electro version of the latest Pink Floyd because of the constant feeling of melancholy I felt. The sixth track, "Interlude", seems to divide the album as after that we have the electro e.b.m. delirious "Affliction", the low bit electronic orchestrations of "Out Of Me", the e.b.m./classical experiments of "Project 21", the exploding noises of "The Great Change" which mix filtered vocals, slow blasting drum beats, synth and guitar distortions. The album is closed by "Outro 528", an experimental ambient tune. After four listening I'm not able still to understand everything I listened to and I think that this is what the band was aiming for...
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Artist: Synoiz (@)
Title: Darkling
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Named after the most rhythmical track of his debut album "Ambients", who grabbed the attention of many listeners and reviewers dealing with darkest declensions of ambient, electro-pop and synth-pop, "Darkling" is a voluptuous collection of remixes by various (mostly unknown) musicians Sunderland-based sound artist Graeme Donaldson met. Remix albums are not my favorite ones as sometimes the original version usually biases the final result of remixer's manipulations, but there are many exception when this circumstance doesn't occur: "Darkling" can be considered an exception as well due to the impressive variety of styles which have been injected by remixers, who mostly doesn't skew the atmosphere of the original track. The fact it offers the possibility to knew some obscure producers and sound artists is another relevant feature of this release and I've to say there are many interesting interpretations. As it's a digital release which gives the possibility to the listeners to buy single track, if I had to pick a limited number of them to suggest, any choice would be somewhat inequitable. The decision of including the album version gives the possibility to appreciate better what I highlighted before: the remixes which are closer to the original version are maybe the ones which sounds more focused on the dark and ethereal vein, which pulsates in the original version. I particularly enjoyed "Doug Lynner's Los Gatos Mix" and "Ravenslament Wake Up #13 Mix" - both of them reminded to me that kind of dark ambient-dub (one of the first names which come to my mind is G.O.L.) for the tastes of Dead Can Dance, which had some rushes in the middle 90ies -, the abstract suppurations of "SKatterBrain Remix" - it could evoke some stuff by Sabres Of Paradise - and the amazing electronic procession of "Pinklogik Remix", but all those versions who squeezed the track to highlight the rhythmical aspect are equally interesting, particularly "Synoizian Dance Edit" - a well balanced mixture of electro and acid techno -, "Endo Meso Pick N Mix" - an atmospheric coalescence of charming trip-hop and obscure downbeat -. Some surprises come from remxies of other songs as well: "Arrow Down Hill Defiance Remix" of "Ever Emptiness" could let you imagine an unexpected appearance by Radiohead or Stateless in some hidden episode of Resident Evil or 3D Realms/Monolith Production' "Blood", whose horror settings could be evoked in a more concrete way by the scary atmospheres on "Ark Elfs Brain Haemorrhage mix" of "The Enfield Poltergeist" or the tormented Beefcake-like breakbeat on "Scriptkiddy's Wrong St Ives Mix" of "The Esoteric Order Of Dagon", while gamelan-driven "Lunar Re:Mix" of "From You" by Anguajy could let you imagine some Balinese lunar modul! You can find a certain relief in the amazing reinterpretation of "Of Rolling Hills" by Madeleine Bloom, whom critics are calling Germany's answer to Imogen Heap..its listening could immerse listener into an imaginary nursery room for Casper and other sweetie baby ghosts!
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